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Psoque

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Everything posted by Psoque

  1. I wonder if anybody has already tried to get the refund via litigation through the small claims court. The thought crossed my mind previously, but I wasn’t sure doing so would be cost effective. Perhaps I can do this all virtually online application and teleconferencing for a reasonable fee??
  2. I think you might be misquoting a preliminary announcement from the UK saying that, out of 52,000 people hospitalized for COVID-19, only 526 of them were those who received at least one dose of either the AstraZeneca or Pfizer vaccine. I don’t have the original paper to read (since this announcement was made before the paper was peer-reviewed and published) but the press release suggests that the incidence of hospitalizations is lower among those who are even partially vaccinated.
  3. This must be totally embarrassing for Crystal. I have no idea why Crystal decided to put out such a silly press release earlier, promising that 95% of the refunds will be completed by end of April. As I said a few days ago, seeing things like this really makes Crystal look really bad.
  4. In the quoted press release, Crystal said they expect to process 95% of the refunds by end of April, NOT 100 %. So either Crystal is saying something different to some TAs, or some TAs can't tell the difference between 95% and 100%, which is a big deal, especially to those who end up in the unrefunded 5%.
  5. About a month ago, my TA told me that Crystal assured him that all refunds will be processed by April 30, 2021. I don't understand why Crystal would (supposedly) be making such a promise. Either Crystal is really going to process all refunds due in the next 2 days (I guess it is possible, though I am not holding my breath), or a bunch of TAs have been hearing them incorrectly (possible, but unlikely). I know that the most recent (in my knowledge) Crystal press release regarding the refunds did not say that Crystal will complete all refunds by April 30. I also e-mailed Crystal again (I do this every 2 months) about my refunds a few days ago, and the reply was, and I paraphrase, Crystal has no idea when I will get my refund. I know that Crystal has admitted that they failed to deal with this issue in a graceful manner so far, and they promised to do better. If Crystal did actually tell TAs that all refunds will be processed by April 30, that is a terrible strategy for Crystal if they can't keep the promise. But I guess we just have to wait.
  6. My understanding, based on the report from the European Medicines Agency that came out on March 18. is that the incidence of blood clots among those who received the AstraZeneca vaccine was actually lower than that among those who did not receive it. I can't comment on the meaning of the more recent incidences of blood clots in Berlin, though.
  7. How did you come up with October 2021? Is anything being anticipated to occur in October of this year?
  8. It’s very interesting that when you want to “prove” a point, facts becomes optional. You know as well as I do that most cruise lines do not have as many Bahamas and Caribbean cruises in July, August and September. And even those that do have cruises in the regions during that time (Carnival, for example), its typically just one or two of their ships. Choice of Bahamas by Crystal and choice of other Caribbean regions by other cruise lines were because those was the best they could do (to actually operate a cruise legally under the circumstances, as well as to find countries highly dependent on tourism to go along with it) not because it was a reliable region for that part of the year. I consider this somewhat consistent with what people are calling extractive tourism. ”The same goes for COVID.” What do you mean by that statement??? I have no idea how the potential disruption to the 2021 summer cruise season can be said as “same” as anything before 2020. This is completely uncharted. The uncertainties the cruise lines will experience for this year is not “business as usual.” The uptick in deployment of tourism re-start is only good if tourism actually occurs. I am not expecting/demanding Crystal or any other travel provider to provide their summer 2020 customers with any guarantees. However, I think many in the travel/hospitality industry are either too desperate and/or in denial to even admit that starting anything this summer is a big gamble, both for the businesses and the customers. And your response is highly indicative of this culture. And I also stand by with my assertion that the Bahama cruises are a much bigger gamble for Crystal with just two ocean ships and with the parent with a huge debt compared to other bigger cruise lines who are going to try with one of many ships. Crystal cheerleaders can object to my posts all they want, but I think it is silly to ignore the reality (Crystal HAS to do this, and these Bahamas cruises appear to be their only viable option at this time, and without some sort of income soon, they will not survive, either with Genting HK or without. And there is a change none of this will happen because of the outbreak and the unpredictable summer/fall weather in the region.) Also, being hopeful about the future or having a dire financial/psychological/social need for these cruises to occur do not make the outbreak go away any sooner, or the region to have less severe weather events. I agree with you that every cruise, not just cruises in Bahamas/Caribbean in the summer/fall, or first cruises in the tail end (hopefully!) of an outbreak, have its financial risk to the cruise lines. But I think that these Bahamas/Caribbean cruises in the summer 2020 will have more than the usual level of financial risk to the businesses, as well as higher than typical chance of them being cancelled compared to typical summer/fall cruises by the same cruise line pre-outbreak.
  9. I see that you and Vince did not like what I said, but the fact is that you are not really disagreeing with what I said. I’m afraid you are reading too much into what I said. I never said Crystal should/should not offer these cruises. I did not even say Crystal is being reckless. Whether you like it or not, there will be inherent (financial) risks of doing these Bahamas cruise at this particular time period because of the outbreak (which has not ended yet, by the way) and the unpredictable weather in the summer/fall in that part of the world, and the only reason Crystal is doing this is because they HAVE TO do this to continue their financial viability, and this presented to them as one of the few “reasonable” option. And nobody, including Crystal cannot be sure about what the outcome would be financially, and Crystal is willing to gamble on this, because their level of risk tolerance is probably higher than, say, 2019. And the “reasonableness” of this Bahamas cruise can only be assessed after the season is over. I certainly hope everything will work out, but at the same time, it is completely ludicrous to make any assumption about how these itinerary will work out for Crystal and their customers until they actually occur. This summer cruise season, for any cruise line, will be an experiment for all of us, regardless of how we “feel” about the cruise travel, the outbreak, or anything else personal.
  10. I think these Bahamas cruise have a higher than typical chance of being cancelled either because of the coronavirus related issues or the weather. There's no question that the chance of Crystal losing money on this maneuver is much higher compared to their typical itineraries pre-outbreak. I'm not saying that they are taking an unreasonable risk. Every cruise line should have their definition of what is an acceptable level of risk, and Crystal decided to do this. I'm just saying that the fact that Crystal was first in line to announce this is, in my opinion, very indicative of Crystal's need to do something right now.
  11. I am starting to get the impression that the Bahama cruises are more or less a high-risk maneuver for Crystal/Genting, and this might be their "Hail Mary" or "make-it-or-break-it" moment for them. I certainly hope that Crystal will somehow succeed one or or another and survive this crisis.
  12. I sincerely hope Crystal and other cruise lines will have a successful cruise season this year, and I also hope that you and other passengers will have a safe and enjoyable time. I would think that for cruise lines, especially boutique ones like Crystal, would really want to have some bookings this year, whether they want to continue with Genting or if Genting want to sell parts/whole of the brand. It would be a shame if the brand goes away, which I am not anticipating, yet. However, it is definitely too early to say if the Bahama cruises this summer or any other cruises planned for this summer by any other line will be safe and successful. We have to wait until it happens to know that. Also, it is absolutely too early to know how the current vaccination programs will make the cruises in the summer safer. There are a lot of unknowns, and the 2021 summer cruise season will be a very ambitious experiment.
  13. Or possibly more frequently than annually, since this disease appears to be not as seasonal as influenza, meaning that the dynamic mix of various viral mutants is changing continually in any given location, 365 days a year.
  14. Sociological studies have shown for decades that people who do not receive vaccinations are more likely to be (cavalier, ignorant....choose your word) about public health measures in general, and that's a problem because they are more likely to spread the virus now and in the future. Those people who refuse the vaccine, those who refuse to wear the mask, those who pretend like it is still 2019 are exactly the group of people who should be vaccinated if we want to control this outbreak better. It is a tall order.
  15. Several things: It is the case that currently, the outbreak is waning in most places, and that's a good thing, but it is not necessarily accurate to say that this is because of the vaccines. It is too soon for vaccines to cause this effect. Yes, the vaccine will eventually start helping us a lot, it is too soon, even in countries like UK and Israel, to really start seeing this effect. Hopefully, the vaccinations will continue at this rate or higher, and we will start seeing the effects of this later this year. It is important to vaccinate as many people as possible with the current vaccines, but there's no way to prevent the new mutants from arising, especially those that are not well-controlled with the current vaccine. And the reality is that there are at least a few mutants that have been in existence for a while that the first-generation vaccine cannot protect us well from (South African one and Brazillian one, for example....there are more). And the third issue is that we don't know how long the useful immunity will last from one administration of any of the vaccines. It is possible that we all may need to re-vaccinated with the first generation vaccines (boosters) or with ever changing vaccines with a mixture second/third/fourth, etc. generation vaccines as new mutants that cannot be controlled with the first generation vaccines arise from the population. That is exactly what we are doing with the influenza vaccine. However, since this coronavirus is not strongly seasonal like influenza, it is possible that the cycle of vaccination may have to be shorter than a year. So based on issues explained above, it is absolutely important that we don't revert our behavior pattern back to 2019 at this time. It is way too early to do that. I think what kind of public health measures we follow will be an crucial factor that would determine how soon we can start relaxing our restrictions. And I think we should be prepared for this virus to be with us (in some form) for a very long time.
  16. I think it would be a great challenge to have all crew members properly vaccinated, unless we end up with a very generous supply of vaccines by May/June of this year, and that the cost of each vaccination fits Crystal's business model for the Bahamas cruises. I don't know exactly what Crystal is planning to do with this challenge, but I think the issue in regard to the risk of a mini-outbreak occurring onboard is very much dependent on how many crew will not be vaccinated, and how is Crystal going to monitor the entire crew population (not just the unvaccinated crew), where are they going to be working on the ship, and for that matter how they are going to house them on the ship. But as long as the entire passenger population is properly vaccinated, I think the risk of any of the passengers getting sick from this virus is low, but that also depends on the immunocompetence of each passenger. It is very likely that some of the passengers, even after being vaccinated properly, would not be able to fend the virus off. Another concern is what would happen if one of the crew members/passengers board the ship with a mutant virus (the South African one, the Brazillian one, or something unidentified) that the current vaccines can only provide limited protection to. I think the risk of another Diamond Princess type scenario would be less likely (not impossible, but less likely....we just don't know how much less that would be.) since the current vaccines are at least proving to have some protection against all known mutants. So, I would think that every passenger would need, perhaps with a help from his/her healthcare provider, to estimate his/her individualized risk of these Bahamas cruise and decide if it is acceptable or not. Obviously, it is extremely difficult and nearly impossible to be completely objective in making this assessment, but what I suggest is to separate the desire to travel/cruise again from the actual risk of doing so. Also do not forget to assess the risk of everything else we have to do to get to the cruise ship, including time in the airport and flying in the plane, etc. I don't think there is one generic answer to every person, but I think it makes a lot of sense for each of us to make this kind of assessment for the next few months/years until we have a much better handle on this outbreak, which, I remind you, is far from over. I'm not saying that the sky is falling, or that we have been defeated by the virus. I am just listing a few things that the scientific community have thought about regarding infectious diseases caused by highly contagious and genetically unstable viruses.
  17. In regard to the act of smoking, there are papers that say that smoking increases transmission of respiratory pathogens (both giving and receiving) as well as the susceptibility of individuals (including that of second hand smokers) to respiratory infections. I am not sure if enough information has been gathered regarding this effect on the COVID-19 and its transmission, but I have read papers saying that people are actively studying it.
  18. The coronavirus vaccination card in the US is authentic and trustworthy, only if it is authentic. The problem is not the authenticity or trustworthiness of the legitimately created cards. The problem is that the document has no unique identifier and there is no way to authenticate it, even with the lot number of the vaccine (for a multiple of reasons including the fact that more than one person receive vaccines from the same lot and inoculation records, if it is even made at all/is available, may not include this info, depending on which organization obtained it). Basically, I can photocopy my card, put a different name on it (even keep the dates of inoculations alone) and it could potentially be used to "prove" my vaccination status, and there' really no way to check if it is fake or not. I would not be surprised that if this is already going on.
  19. The 6 ft recommendation was originally made for masked individuals. Different state and local regulations are interpreting the original recommendation in looser and looser manner. And there’s nothing magical about 6 ft. What we know that more distancing reduces transmission of this virus, and that effect is more pronounced with a mask (meaning that without a mask, the virus can travel further). The indoor/outdoor argument is an interesting one that has not been studied as well as we want to. There’s a difference between what is “allowed” vs what is considered reasonable precautions.
  20. I don’t think I am telling you or anybody not to take this or other cruise. However, many of us are hoping that our eventual reopening of international travel including cruising will occur in the way that does not cause a new wave of infections.
  21. 6 feet distancing is typically recommended for people who are masked. I am not sure how big the smoking areas are on Crystal or other ships, but I am not sure how many feet is enough and feasible.
  22. This might work if every immunization is somehow recorded in a way that can be authenticated. That’s not the case with every immunization in the US, in start contrast to some other countries. Also, the ways laws are written and interpreted in the US, private companies have to obtain consent from each person to gather data about immunization. Only way I can see this happen here in the US is for the each person, at the time of immunization, to give consent to release its inoculation status information to be used for this specific purpose. I think those who already received the current vaccines are out of luck for now.
  23. Unless US decides to create a “point of vaccination” immunization registry, there will never be an authenticatable and reliable proof of vaccination that will serve this particular purpose of enforcing proper immunization for travel. I think in other countries with a pre-existing national immunization registry that are designed to be accessed for public health purposes, it would be a lot more easier. But in the case of US, it would be difficult to do this using the current patchwork of systems (mainly at state or healthcare provider levels, if that’s even done) that keep track of immunizations. And as I said before, for those who have already received the coronavirus vaccines, the horses are out of the barn....it would be nearly impossible to create a robust immunization proof that is verifiable for this population.
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